HE’S known for handing out medals to heroic soldiers and attending civic dinners.
But handing out bananas, until now, has not been one of the mayoral duties for Gerald Shimbart.
The mayor of Havant was all smiles as he gave out Fairtrade bananas to council employees as they arrived for work at The Plaza.
He was assisted by youngsters from St Thomas More’s Primary School in Bedhampton.
The event was part of Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs until March 10.
People from across Havant, Portsmouth, Gosport and Fareham rally round every year to raise awareness of Fairtrade products.
Bananas are just one of more than 4,500 items which ensure some of the poorest farmers in the world get a fair deal and are not exploited.
Cllr Shimbart said: ‘It was a lot of fun. We were there at about 8.15am to give them all away.
‘We had a group of youngsters there and they thoroughly enjoyed it.
‘They were happy putting stickers on everybody who came through the door.
‘We got rid of a lot of bananas!’
Sue James, from Waterlooville, who helps to organise Fairtrade Fortnight, said: ‘We want to make people aware of Fairtrade.
‘If people know more about it, hopefully they will buy the products.
‘It helps farmers in poorer countries, but the sales are not big enough yet.’
Pupils from St Thomas More’s have designed artwork based on Fairtrade which will displayed in the Plaza during the fortnight.
Around 1,200 bananas have so far been given out in Portsmouth and Havant after being donated by Fyffes, a fruit importer.
But sadly Cllr Shimbart never got to enjoy one.
‘I was most upset,’ said Cllr Shimbart.
‘We gave them all away and there were none left for me or Elaine!’